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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

After recent bus driver shortages, Hernando looks to start year in good shape



After struggling much of last year to find bus drivers, the Hernando County School District expects to have just enough drivers and substitute drivers when school revs up again on Monday, said transportation director Douglas Compton.

“We’re not in abundance, but we do have enough,” he said.

The district has 115 bus drivers with a pool of about 15 part-time substitutes.

“We’ll have a body in every seat,” he said. “We’ll have people available to cover if people are out.”

Hernando transportation workers were hit hard by last year’s shortage. Some drivers had to pick up extra routes or cover extra stops. When substitutes ran out, employees from the transportation department’s office had to jump behind a wheel and drive.

Compton said the department expects to finish training additional substitute drivers in September, further building the district’s reserves.

In other transportation news, this school year marks the first time the district hasn’t sent out paper copies of bus routes to each of the schools – it is now done on the computer as part of the district’s routing program.

Not everyone is happy about that.

Hernando County School Board member Cynthia Moore said that at Brooksville Elementary, where she volunteers, the online system didn’t work for every student.

“We’re having some problems with it,” she said.

Compton ticked off a number of reasons for moving to the online system.

He said it will eliminate incorrect information being given out – parents choosing a certain stop even though there are closer ones. It will stop schools from giving out information about bus stops to ineligible students – such as those who live within a two-mile radius of the school.


“We want accurate information with safe stop information to be given out to eligible students,” Compton said.

[Last modified: Friday, August 16, 2013 3:19pm]


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